Stories published in May, 2012

Why British Pakistanis should visit their motherland

Back home, the vast majority of second generation British nationals of Pakistani origin wouldn’t dream about visiting their parent’s homeland – unless it was for shopping, or a wedding of course.  Unfortunately, the topic of Pakistan is followed by mockery, ridicule and stereotypes, which consist of uneducated, toothless villagers driving rickshaws and eating paan. People in Britain don’t realise that Pakistan is a country full of colour, culture and a talented young generation that is truly aiming for change. I don’t understand why so few of my young generation would like to visit the country of their parent’s origin. Of course, there is a ...

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Ethnic politics will lead to Pakistan’s doom

With the recent attack on the nationalists’ rally in Karachi and the consequent shutter-down strike observed in the interior of the province, one fears the return of ‘politics of ethnicity’ in Sindh. What constitutes a person’s ethnicity? Ethnicity is based on an attachment that brings people together because of similar cultural patterns, making the group a closed network. Language, geography, shared historical memories as well as political and economic ties entrench these groups further into coherent institutions and traditions. The politicisation of ethnicity and its interaction with the state has always been a subject of significance in the political economy of ...

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Politicising homosexuality: A make or break for US presidents

The president of the United States, dispelled all doubt his democratic supporters or republican opposition had earlier this month when he spoke in support of gay marriage in a televised interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News.  The announcement comes at a sensitive time as this is election year and gay rights, union, and marriage have always been a sensitive political subject for those on the Hill and all citizens of the United States. Although the first amendment of the American Constitution’s Bill of Rights includes the freedom of association, laws for and ...

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Game on: How Murali stumped them all

Ever heard of the phrase ‘go out with a bang’? It seems like whoever crafted this phrase did so after they witnessed Murali’s last innings.   His matchless records, 800 Test wickets and 534 ODI wickets are what people remember of Muttiah Muralitharan. He created his own league in cricket – determined and fearless. Sir Donald Bradman has been remembered for his laudable decision to retire when he was just four runs short of creating a batting average of 100. Averaging 99.4 in Test cricket – which is still the highest average in this format – his ...

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Erdogan in Pakistan: Of speeches and bloopers

Recently, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan addressed a joint session of the Pakistani Parliament for the second time in four years. In his speech, he took the opportunity to offer his condolences for the Siachen tragedy, discuss bilateral trade, economic cooperation and generally about the strong bond of friendship between Pakistan and Turkey. The premier also had something to say about the role of opposition parties, commenting that opposition parties exist to reform the government, not to kick it out. Mr Erdogan also talked about the very important role of the Parliament and finally, lauded Pakistan for upholding democracy. In short, ...

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That is my child

My child stands at the corner of the street, in tattered clothes, smelling of rotten fish, selling fragrant flowers to you.  You scrunch up your nose; throw the money at him and grab the flowers, making sure your hands don’t touch his.  That filthy, smelly child is my child. My child, in the chill of December, cleans your car with his calloused hands. His hands look older than your 70-year-old father’s, cracked and hard from the lifetime they have suffered in such a short period. You pay him a few cents and tell him to get lost as you zoom off. That ...

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Can science be compared with religion?

If one doesn’t know how to evaluate evidence or determine if a conclusion lies beyond the scope of any given evidence and if one cannot judge the strength of a theory, he is like a young child who should not play with fire. If he does, he may burn his hands – in this metaphor, his beliefs. So religious scholars are right when they prevent us from playing with science which questions beliefs. Some people say that science and religion can never be compared. Religion would boast to “know everything” even if it is wrong and would undermine the understanding of ...

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Why women just aren’t funny

Humour is a funny thing. Take a man with a good sense of humour and combine it with a face that looks like his neck threw up on it and what you have is a ‘studmuffin’, who will have a bevy of beauties agreeing to throw their heads back for more than just laughing. But funny women, who may or may not be funny looking, never get the same response. Because ‘funniness’ is a trait that only men dominate. That’s a skill only men take pride in. Since there’s more value placed on being beautiful, women don’t mind falling into ...

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Dear Mr Kundi, I beg to differ

In his untiring and relentless efforts to safeguard the glory of the Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Mr Faisal Karim Kundi has demanded an increase in lawmaker salaries and perks to increase their efficiency. Mr Kundi, dare I say that our lawmakers are already quite efficient in achieving their motive? I strongly believe that the members of the present legislature, especially from the ruling party and its alliances, are the most efficient group of people allegedly focused on corruption, theft and above all authorising a certain person to override the rule of law. As far as the comparison with ...

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Start the rails: Of the NATO supply route

About six months have passed since the tragic incident at Salala by the US-led Nato forces followed by the closure of Nato supply routes to Afghanistan through Pakistan. All major parties, except government allies, found an opportunity to shine their politics on the issue. They would not tire of announcing large-scale protests and long marches if the government opened the route. On the other hand, the US and Nato are repeatedly asking Pakistan to open the route which means that either there is no alternative for them to take equipment to their forces or it is more expensive to export it ...

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